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Steve Jones’ new business is getting off the ground in more senses than one with some help from UK Steel Enterprise.

ABG Lift Truck Training has received a £2000 grant from the Kickstart programme to help buy equipment for the Brynmawr-based company.

Steve was formerly in charge of lift truck and manual handling training for Blaenau Gwent Council. But when he was made redundant he decided to take the plunge into self-employment, and ABG Lift Truck Training was born.

ABG has maintained strong links with the Council as well as retaining existing valued customers and attracting new business. The company also understands the importance of the React Training Programme sponsored by Welsh Government and ABG is proud to support individuals who have been made redundant through this initiative.

“I have twelve years’ experience in the business, and I am fully accredited with the Road Transport Industry Training Board (RTITB), so I thought it was time to branch out on my own,” said Steve.

ABG has a fully equipped training centre on the Barleyfield Industrial Estate, where it offers bespoke packages to companies and organisations, as well as to individuals looking to retrain or refresh their skills.

“We offer a range of courses from basic for novices, as well as people with experience but no formal training.

“Training is also available for the All Wales Manual Handling Passport and Information Scheme,” added Steve.

Training covers a wide range of machinery and skills, including counter balance truck, reach truck, pivot steer truck, cherry picker, scissors lift and others.

Kickstart, run jointly by Tata Steel subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise and Blaenau Gwent Council, provides grants to young and developing businesses in the area to stimulate the local economy.

“It has been very helpful and helped me get the business off the ground,” said Steve.

Andy Morris Manager in Wales for UK Steel Enterprise commented: “This is a very good example of how the Kickstart programme can benefit the economy. ABG is providing training in core areas of industry which are essential to people seeking work, and looking to develop their careers. We wish him every success with this venture.”

Photo Caption: Giving a lift: from left Andy Morris UK Steel Enterprise, Karin Lamb Blaenau Gwent Council and Steve Jones.